It’s a fun scene to watch — but Hugh himself wasn’t the biggest fan of filming it.
In the upcoming ABC News special The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later (via People), Hugh reveals that he basically hated the idea as soon as he laid eyes on the script.
“I saw it in the script and I thought, ‘Well, I’ll hate doing that,'” he said. “I didn’t fancy doing the dance at all, let alone rehearsing it.”
The film’s director, Richard Curtis, added that Hugh “kept saying no” when it came time to film the scene. “I think he was hoping I’d get ill or something and we’d say, ‘Oh, well, what a shame, we’ll have to lose that dancing sequence.'”
Curtis also told host Diane Sawyer that Hugh was “grumpy” when they filmed the scene, but it was ultimately a “contractual obligation” for him to shake his groove thing. Hugh, for his part, referred to it as a “contractual guillotine.”
“I’m out of rhythm, by the way, especially at the beginning when I wiggle my ass,” Hugh also pointed out — but, in the end, he has some good humor about how it all turned out.
“To this day, there’s many people — and I agree with them — who think it’s the most excruciating scene ever committed to celluloid,” he joked around while reminiscing. “But then some people like it.”
If you want more BTS secrets behind Love Actually, the special airs next Tuesday, November 29, at 8 p.m. on ABC.